Going on 18 seasons in Charm City, the Baltimore Ravens have had their fair share of legends from Ray Lewis and Ed Reed to players like Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs who could see their way to Canton, Ohio.
Out of all the players I just named, none of them had the physical gifts and traits that seemed effortless on the field that Jonathan Ogden had who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame last night. From 1996-2007, Ogden was dominant. Especially in 2000 when the Ravens offense was horrible, he helped set the tone and helped guide the team to their first Super Bowl title. The word dominant today in sports is used a lot, but when Ogden played, he was a man amongst boys.
Once Ogden put his hands on a defensive player, it was pretty much over the vast majority of the time. When others looked at Ogden’s game, I would always hear some say, “His one flaw was is not being able to maintain a mean streak.” Well, when you handle your opponents so easily, what is there to be angry about? As a matter of fact, Ogden did his opponents a favor by not getting angry. It just looked so easy from Ogden’s standpoint, but he put in the work.
“Talent isn’t enough,” Ogden noted at Canton via espn.com. “A lot of people have talent, they don’t always live up to it. For me it is about maximizing, striving for perfection.”
After seeing the struggles the Ravens have had at times finding a solution at left tackle over the last five years, I realize that I was spoiled having watched Ogden play as a fan of the Ravens. Ogden will go down as a top 10 offensive lineman in league history and a top five left tackle at worst in history. Congrats Ogden, you deserved every minute of your induction.